Requires high ISO shooting, even in good light...
August 19, 2019
I appreciate many Sony's lenses, especially the GM lenses (of which I own all except the 100mm f/2.8 STF GM). I particularly love the 70-200 GM and the 100-400 GM lenses, so I was very excited to hear of the new 200-600 G lens that was getting so many positive reviews from Sony representatives... Unfortunately, my experience with the lens has been mixed. The slower aperture glass requires higher ISO shooting, so that, for example, even in full sun the A7R3 often requires ISO 1000+ when shooting wide open at 600mm at 1/500- 1/800 shutter speeds. I compared this result with my Nikon d850 using the 200-500 5.6 VR lens. I set the aperture of the Nikkor to 6.3 to match the Sony lens and set the focal length to 500mm and was able to shoot 1/500 at ISO 320 with no problems. The image stabilization of the 200-500 is actually far better than the OIS of the Sony lens, too, so I could actually bring the ISO down to 100 and handhold the lens at 1/100 (and even lower!) with no image quality loss. With the Sony lens, on the other hand, the shutter speed must be quite high to compensate for lens shake at longer focal lengths (even when using IBIS and with the lens' Optical Steady Shot set to on). The upshot here is that the Sony lens requires higher ISO shooting, resulting in noisier images that will require post-processing to clean up. It's too bad Sony didn't take a page from Nikon on this lens. I would have preferred a constant aperture f5.6 lens even at the expense of the extra 100mm on the long end instead of a lens that stops down to f6.3 at 300mm or greater... I realize there are design and engineering trade-offs, of course, and that Sony made some compromises to keep costs down. Unfortunately for me, and probably for other photographers, the slower glass combined with higher ISO requirements will present challenges in all but the most well lit situations. On the positive side, however, the lens is well balanced and when you nail focus and don't have any lens shake, the image quality is excellent.... Read More